Seattle Children’s Hospital staff will provide around-the-clock neonatal support and consultation at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Enumclaw, beginning in early 2013.
This new partnership with Franciscan Health System will expand the availability of specialized neonatal care in the South Sound region through a collaborative neonatal medical team, and provide continuing education and training for Franciscan providers and staff. The agreement also boosts levels of care at St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma and St. Francis Hospital in Federal Way.
The Franciscan Birth Centers in Enumclaw, Tacoma and Federal Way deliver more than 5,000 babies annually. Approximately 10 percent of newborns need Level II or Level III intensive care. The partnership with Children’s will help ensure that premature and critically ill newborns can receive the most advanced care where they are born, minimizing the need to transfer them to another hospital for special care. Such transfers can be difficult and inconvenient for parents who are already emotionally stressed because their baby has been born prematurely or ill.
“Children’s is very pleased to work with the Franciscan Health System to help provide an enhanced level of neonatal care for infants,” said Sandy Melzer, MD, senior vice president of Seattle Children’s. “Our collaboration helps ensure the most fragile newborns can receive the best specialized care close to home.”